Notes on contributors

Dr Simon Pratt-Adams

Acting Director of the Centre for Innovation in Higher Education in Anglia Learning & Teaching, and Principal Lecturer in Academic Development in the Faculty of Health, Education, Medicine and Social Care at Anglia Ruskin University, and Visiting Professor at the Shanghai Youth College of Management.

Simon has substantial experience of researching in the field of pedagogic research and urban education.

Uwe Matthias Richter

Academic Lead: Distance and Online Learning, Anglia Learning & Teaching, Anglia Ruskin University.

Uwe’s main activities are in policy issues around technology-enhanced, online and distance learning, staff development and projects. His current research interests lie in the field of learning and teaching with particular focus on learning technology, distance, work-based and active collaborative learning.

Mark Warnes

Research Fellow, Anglia Learning & Teaching, Anglia Ruskin University.

Mark is skilled in both quantitative and qualitative research, using innovative and creative research design. He manages research projects, reports on data analysis, interprets findings, and writes reports, disseminating these through appropriate internal and external channels. Mark manages the Learning and Teaching Project Awards scheme and the Pedagogic Research Directory, and also identifies and interviews exponents of good teaching practice, and disseminates this information online via the Good Teaching Exchange. Mark also delivers the popular online course Ten Days of Twitter. He is close to completing his PhD investigating the possible relationship between Reward and Recognition and Teaching Excellence.

Jane McNeil

Executive Dean of Learning and Teaching, Nottingham Trent University (NTU).

Jane has responsibility for strategic educational development, as well as academic policy and quality management. Her early experiences as a history lecturer and in online learning evolved into a wider focus on learning and teaching innovation. This was realised in subsequent roles, including institutional lead for learning and teaching enhancement. Her current work in developing large-scale active learning sits alongside interests in learning technology, learning spaces and flexible curriculum models. In 2012, Jane led the first institutional, multi-disciplinary SCALE-UP project in the UK, and, in 2017, a collaborative active learning project with three universities, for the OfS ‘Addressing Barriers to Student Success’ programme.

Dr Michaela Borg

Educational Development Manager, Nottingham Trent University (NTU).

Michaela taught English to speakers of other languages in Japan and Indonesia amongst other countries before undertaking a PhD at the University of Leeds. Moving into HE, she worked as a Senior Lecturer at Northumbria University and led the MA Academic Practice at University of Warwick before taking up her current post. At NTU, Michaela leads educational development to develop inclusive curricula and pedagogies; the role of active collaborative learning in supporting inclusion has become an increasing focus of her work. Michaela’s research interests include cultures and identities in learning and teaching and the dynamic interaction between the design of learning spaces and pedagogy.

Dr Rachel Berkson

Academic Developer for Active Collaborative Learning, Anglia Ruskin University.

Rachel is part of a project funded by the UK Office for Students (OfS) ‘Addressing Barriers to Student Success’ programme. She works with colleagues to scale up the adoption of Team-Based Learning across the institution, and gathers data to evaluate the impact of this intervention. She is particularly interested in inclusive learning and teaching, and reducing disparities in Higher Education experienced by students from some backgrounds. Rachel’s background is in bioscience with research interests in cancer cell fate.

Dr Simon Tweddell

Senior Lecturer in Pharmacy Practice, University of Bradford.

During 2011, Simon project managed the development of a new employer-informed, outcomes-based pharmacy curriculum, which is delivered predominantly by Team-Based Learning. Simon is the inaugural chair of the Board of the European Team-Based Learning Community and sits on the global Steering Committee of the Team-Based Learning Collaborative. Simon is a Principal Fellow of the Higher Education Academy, a Fellow of the Royal Pharmaceutical Society, and an accredited consultant-trainer in Team-Based Learning.

Nicky Milner

Principal Lecturer/Director of Medical Education, Faculty of Health, Education, Medicine and Social Care, Anglia Ruskin University.

Nicky is course leader for the foundation year on the extended medical science degrees. She has developed an interest in using active learning methods to improve engagement and academic success. She has recently designed a series of new modules on the undergraduate medical science course which use Team-Based Learning to foster interdisciplinary learning. Her research interests include developing innovative curricula which aim to enhance student motivation, collaboration and confidence through scenario-based learning with authentic assessment.

Dr Jo Rushworth

National Teaching Fellow, De Montfort University.

Jo studied Biochemistry at the University of Leeds and then went on to train and practise as a Chemistry teacher for three years. She became interested in inclusive pedagogy and returned to the University of Leeds to undertake a Wellcome Trust-funded PhD in Alzheimer’s disease with the ultimate aim of lecturing. Jo started her first lecturing post at De Montfort University in 2014 and, since then, has championed an inclusive and active approach to teaching, learning and assessment in Higher Education. She was awarded her National Teaching Fellowship (NTF) in 2018 for her work around Universal Design for Learning (UDL).

Dr Graham Lawson

Honorary Senior Research Fellow, De Montfort University.

Graham’s career (Industry-Defence-University) encompassed explaining the use of analytical chemistry in the protection of employers and the public from chemical hazards at work, in the home and hospital situations. This work always involves an element of detection and making study inclusive and relevant to the student’s experience is a necessary part of developing the investigative process.

Unmesh Desai

Senior Technician, De Montfort University.

Following his Bachelors and Masters in Industrial Chemistry at Sardar Patel University (India) in 1999, Unmesh subsequently obtained a further Masters in Environmental Engineering and Science at Virginia Tech (USA) in 2002. After working as a Laboratory and Environmental Manager for four years, he returned to academia in 2006 as a Senior Technician. Unmesh has enjoyed 13 years of teaching graduate and post-graduate students in Pharmacy, Forensic Science and Biomedical Science. He recently embarked upon a part-time PhD in which he is researching the effects of exercise upon diabetes, which he is very much enjoying.

Nazmi Juma

Senior Analytical Technician, De Montfort University.

Nazmin studied Biochemistry at the University of Liverpool and subsequently worked as a Laboratory Analyst. Nazmin joined De Montfort University as a Chemistry Technician, progressing in 2005 to a Senior Technical role managing the main analytical teaching lab for the Faculty of Health & Life Sciences. She has accumulated a wealth of experience in many Analytical Operating Systems including GC/FID, HPLC, FTIR, Mass Spec and Atomic Absorption. Nazmin’s pioneering project between Diabetes UK and De Montfort University enables students to be trained as Diabetes Champions, who raise awareness in their own communities.

Dr Abigail Moriarty

University Director of Teaching and Learning, De Montfort University.

Abi’s background is a registered nurse specialising in gynaecology and women’s health. Now an internationally-recognised leader of teaching and learning, who is still passionate about the NHS, Abi introduced Universal Design for Learning (UDL) at De Montfort University in 2015. She continues to talk widely across the UK Higher Education sector about UDL and was invited to speak at the UDL Symposium at Harvard University, Massachusetts (2018). Abi is a contributing author of ‘Universal Design for Learning and Strategic Leadership: A Whole University Approach to Inclusive Practice,’ in the book ‘Transforming Higher Education through Universal Design for Learning: An International Perspective’.

Paul Driver

Senior Learning Technologist at Anglia Ruskin University.

Paul specialises in immersive virtual scenario creation and holds an MA in Creative Media Practice in Education. He has 25 years of teaching experience and is an award-winning materials writer, a teacher trainer and a graphic designer. Paul has also been nominated for four English Teaching Innovation Awards and, in 2018, he received the national Learning Technologist of the Year award. Paul’s research interests span across many fields, exploring the roles of technology, media, game design, play, and embodied cognition in the process of learning.

Dr Nicola Walshe

Head of School of Education and Social Care, Anglia Ruskin University.

Nicola gained a PhD in glaciology and taught and worked as Head of Geography in three secondary schools in the UK before leading the Geography PGCE course at the Faculty of Education, University of Cambridge. Nicola’s recent research interests include environmental and sustainability education, arts-based approaches to supporting children’s wellbeing in nature, and curriculum and pedagogy within teacher education more broadly.

Siân Shaw

Director of Learning, Teaching and Assessment, Anglia Ruskin University.

Siân studied nursing at St Bartholomew’s Hospital before working in clinical practice for 17 years. In 2006 she graduated with a Masters in Clinical Governance and Post Graduate Certificate in Education from Cambridge University. Siân has been working at Anglia Ruskin University since 2004. Her research interests are in technology-enhanced learning and teaching with a particular focus on digital practice assessment of student nurses, Platform Simulation and the use of virtual reality to develop empathy and decision-making skills.

Dr Suzanne Hughes

After gaining her Social Work Masters at Anglia Ruskin, Sue was keen to use her research skills to explore, through an Anglia Ruskin funded PhD, older people’s experiences of domiciliary care, paying particular attention to identity, autonomy and relationship. Sue engaged in lecturing on Social Work BA and MA programmes and, in her Doctoral role, has contributed to a range of research studies including systematic reviews, qualitative and mixed-method studies focusing on older people’s services. Sue champions, through both research and education, the understanding and appreciation of service-user and patient experiences of health and social care situations.

Dr Mike Hobbs

Mike studied Chemistry at Exeter University and after four years in the printing industry re-trained with a Masters then a PhD in Computer Science at Kent University. For the following three years he helped develop machine-learning algorithms at Essex University. In 1996, he returned to Kent as a lecturer in Applied Computing and also widened his experience by teaching with The Open University on distance learning courses. In 2000 he joined the Anglia Ruskin University Computing Department as a senior lecturer, with a particular interest in pedagogic research, becoming their Learning Lead in 2016.

Elaine Brown

Institutional Lead Personal Development Tutoring and Ruskin Modules, Anglia Ruskin University.

Elaine studied Biochemistry at the University of Bristol, and left industry to study an MSc in Computer Science at Anglia Ruskin. Elaine engaged large numbers of first year undergraduates with their feedback in a systems analysis and design module, for which she was awarded a University Teaching Fellowship. Elaine has also taught software interface design, and is undertaking a Professional Doctorate in Education applying the principles and practices of user experience design to make explicit the outcomes of lectures. Elaine’s interest in the experience and design of learning means she is excited to be leading the development of interdisciplinary modules at ARU.

Susan Smith

Associate Dean (Education and Students), University of Sussex.

Susan is a Fellow of the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales with a LLB in Law from The University of Edinburgh. Susan is an elected member of the ICAEW Council representing the South East and a member of the ICAEW Ethical Standards Committee placing her at the forefront of strategic decisions within the profession. She made the move from business into academia in 2013. Susan has focused on developing an active approach to her teaching.

Dr Auðbjörg Björnsdóttir

Director of the Centre of Teaching and Learning, University of Akureyri (UNAK), Iceland.

Auðbjörg has a PhD in Educational Psychology from the University of Minnesota. Her interest in active, online, cooperative and flexible learning, was sparked during her graduate studies, where she, among other things, taught statistics in an Active earning classroom. Later, she moved to Iceland where she helped establish and became the first Director of the Centre of Teaching and Learning at UNAK. In that work she continues to develop high quality teaching at the university level for example by offering teaching and assessment courses for academic staff, setting up an Active learning classroom and developing flexible learning further.

Ásta Margrét Ásmundsdóttir

Adjunct in the Department of Natural Resource Sciences, University of Akureyri, Iceland.

Ásta has an MSc in Chemistry from the University of Bologna in Italy, MBA from the University of Reykjavik, and Diploma in Education from University of Akureyri. She has been teaching the first year chemistry courses at the Department of Natural Resource Sciences at the University of Akureyri since 2013. She has been a pioneer in finding and implementing new ways of teaching, such as Flipped classroom and Team-Based learning at the University. She has worked closely with the university’s Centre of Teaching and Learning in developing an active learning environment in order to enhance students learning experience.

Dr Maria Kukhareva

Teaching Excellence Lead, University of Bedfordshire.

Maria’s academic and professional background spans Education, Business, Social Sciences and Linguistics. In her current role, Maria leads on staff development and innovative pedagogical practice, which often occupies the space between disciplines. Her interdisciplinary work includes developing effective teaching approaches grounded in drama pedagogy, object-based learning and visual pedagogy. In 2014, Maria delivered a TEDx talk on human resilience, which was based on her doctoral research. Maria is chair of the Research and Development Working Group for the Association for Learning Development in Higher Education (ALDinHE).

Anne Lawrence

Academic Liaison Librarian, University of Bedfordshire.

Anne studied History at Oxford Brookes, Postgraduate Information and Library Studies at the University of Aberystwyth, and obtained CILIP Chartership. Anne’s library and archive expertise was developed in various organisations including the University of Oxford Bodleian Special Collections Department, University of Kent and the Oxfordshire Records Office. Her current research interests include Information and Digital Literacy, innovative pedagogies and modern history. She has also lectured on the ‘History of Female Librarianship at the Bodleian’, utilising archives to bring the personal stories behind the pioneering women to life.

Katherine Koulle

Senior Teaching Fellow, Institute of Education Academic Writing Centre, University College London.

Katherine’s background is in Applied Linguistics and Modern Foreign Languages. She has worked at a number of UK Higher Education Institutions in the fields of English for Academic Purposes, Academic Writing, and Learning Development. Katherine is a Fellow of the Higher Education Academy and a Steering Group member of the Association for Learning Development in Higher Education.

Andrew Middleton

Deputy Head of Anglia Learning & Teaching, Anglia Ruskin University.

Andrew is known for promoting academic innovation in support of developing a rewarding student-centred experience of the curriculum. His research reflects his commitment to developing understanding of spaces for supporting Active Learning. His wide-ranging interests include an ongoing analysis of studio-based pedagogies and cultures, the use of media-enhanced teaching and learning (METAL), non-formal learning space and the role of space in fostering student belonging and becoming. He is Chair of the UK Media-Enhanced Learning Special Interest Group.


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Innovations in Active Learning in Higher Education Copyright © 2020 by Active Learning Network is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, except where otherwise noted.

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